Alexandra Dalferro


Alexandra Dalferro is a PhD student in Sociocultural Anthropology. Her
research focuses on the politics, practices, and history of silk
production in Thailand, particularly among Khmer communities in Surin

She is interested in how knowledge and identity claims are fashioned
and contested through material processes, and she foregrounds silk's
"shimmering surfaces" to think about the affective and sensory
dimensions of weaving and sericulture.

Before coming to Cornell, Alexandra lived in Thailand for over 4
years, working as a Research Assistant at the Sirindhorn Anthropology
Centre and as an intern at UNESCO-Bangkok. She also completed one year
of research as a Fulbright Student Researcher on the legal lottery
system in Thailand and the precarious positions of migrant ticket
sellers. She holds a BA in East Asian Languages and Cultures from
Columbia University.

Alexandra recently undertook over twenty months of fieldwork in
Thailand, and her research was supported by a Wenner Gren Dissertation
Fieldwork Grant, the Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research
Abroad program, the Council of American Overseas Research Centers
Multi-Country Research Fellowship, and the Center for Khmer Studies
Senior Fellowship. For the 2019 to 2020 academic year, she was a
Mellon Graduate Fellow at the Society for the Humanities at Cornell
during the year of "Energy," and during this time she started to write
her dissertation, thinking about how a piece of silk is always also a
swath of woven energy, animated and co-created by a multitude of human
and other-than-human beings.

Some of Alexandra's research interests include: sensory ethnography,
visual anthropology, huaman and non-human relations, materiality and
material culture, textiles, museum studies, "art" and "craft,"
sex/gender in Southeast Asia, the anthropology of daily life, and the
anthropology of Thailand and Cambodia.